• 2010 Resolution #4: Reduce My Entertainment and Hobby Spending by 50%

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. In 2009, I really overspent on my hobbies. My board game collection expanded significantly. I picked up several new video games and computer games. I …

  • The Other Side of the Frugality Fence

    In a recent post at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. defined the “basic law of frugality” as this: “Decide what’s important to you. Give yourself permission to spend on these things. Pinch pennies on everything else.” That’s a pretty spot-on definition, in my opinion. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that …

  • 2010 Resolution #3: Learn to Play the Piano/Keyboard

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. For several years, a keyboard has sat in our basement, gathering dust. I’ve looked at it often and wished I could play it, but the …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Cookbook Overload Edition

    In our kitchen, we have a shelf devoted solely to cookbooks. Upon this shelf sits a hefty number of volumes, from Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything to volumes like Molto Italiano and Fast Easy Fresh. I use these cookbooks all the time, not necessarily for strictly following recipes, but for ideas on …

  • 2010 Resolution #2: Pay Cash for a Replacement for My Truck

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. In 2001, I purchased a used 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck. Over the ensuing eight years, I put nearly 120,000 miles on that truck. As …

  • Merge Left

    Charlene writes in: I’m getting married in March. My future husband and I are talking about when and how to merge our finances and we’ve had some difficulty coming up with a plan. What did you and your wife do? What would you suggest for other couples on the cusp of marriage? First of all, …

  • 2010 Resolution #1: Lose 40 Pounds

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. I’m overweight. One of the biggest reasons for this is hypothyroidism, something I’ve had literally since I was born (and have treated with medication since …

  • Reader Mailbag #95

    Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. What was the best Christmas gift you …

  • Review: The Little Book of Safe Money

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The Little Book of Safe Money by Jason Zweig is the ninth book in the “Little Books…” series, which each tackle a particular investing topic or strategy. To date, I’ve reviewed all of the previous books in the series, so here are links to …

  • Your After-Christmas Shopping Checklist

    A few days after Christmas, Sarah and I will usually head out to the store to stock up on post-Christmas sales. It’s often easy to find many items at bargain-basement prices in the days after Christmas – items which can easily be saved until next year. We usually make a list of things to look …

  • The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 26, 2009

    Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … …

  • Retirement Planning for a Low-Income Career

    Several people in my close inner circle of friends and family have made the active choice to go into careers where they will be earning a low income for life. Their calling is in areas of social work and they’ve made the financially difficult choice to follow their heart. That earns a lot of respect …

  • Merry Christmas from The Simple Dollar!

    I hope that wherever you are and whatever you believe, good tidings are reaching you. Tune in tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming…

  • Is Netflix Worth It?

    Jenna writes in: My husband and I have been talking about signing up for Netflix, but we’re just not sure if it’s worth the extra monthly bill. Do you have any thoughts or pointers? Sarah and I have been on-again off-again Netflix users for most of the past decade. Our experience taught us a few …

  • Managing Money When You’re Paid Infrequently

    Most of us are lucky. We’re paid every week, every other week, twice a month, or monthly, and this makes it easy to make ends meet each month. Some of us, however, live different lives. Freelancers, for example, are paid on a highly irregular schedule. Many graduate students receive only stipends three or four times …

  • Nine Simple Things to Do to Get Ready for Tax Season Right Now!

    With Christmas comes the new year, and with the new year comes the painful cycle of preparing one’s taxes. I personally loathe tax time – to me, it’s an example of how the government simply doesn’t work very well at all. The tax code should not be tens of thousands of pages in length when …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Holiday Thoughts Edition

    For this week’s roundup, I went to several of my favorite personal finance sites and looked for useful Christmas-related posts to share with you all – and I found quite a few. Enjoy! Who and How Much to Tip During the Holidays The link to Emily Post’s suggestions in this article is quite useful, but …

  • Six Great Free Games to Dig Into Over Your Holiday Break

    One of my biggest time management weaknesses is gaming. I love taking breaks to try out a new free computer game. Most of the time, though, the game’s not engrossing enough to hold my interest. This list is filled with the exceptions. Here are six free computer games that are so filled with incredibly enjoyable …

  • Spending Choices and Deeper Psychology

    Christmas has always been a challenging time of the year for me. During various years, within a week or two on either side of Christmas, my grandfather (who I cherished) died of cancer, a great uncle that I was very close to also died of cancer, and one of my cousins who was exactly the …